A little background before starting to babble about chess

A little background before starting to babble about chess

BSSN-OK
BSSN-OK
Aug 29, 2016, 1:58 AM |
2

Hi to everyone (or, most propably, no one) who will ever read my blog,

i am Francesco form Italy. I would like to use this bloggin feature nicely offered by chess.com to write a bit about my approach to chess as an amateur, my progress, the views i developed about the game and about how it can be enjoyed even far away from its competitive side. I will start with a litte backround on me and my chess-related history, to introduce a couple of article i plan to write about which opening i have selected to play, why, and how i am going to study them (because, who doesen't like to waste some times on openings, even if has been proven multiple times by the best coaches that studying them it's not the best way to improve?).

I learned chess when i was 11 or 12 from my dad, who finally aknowledged to teach me after i had asked him for years. I started playing with my friends at school, at home, at summer camps, winning most of my games, mainly for my ability to recongnize patterns and to concentrate throughout all the game. I played also against an electronic board. After a couple of years, i wanted to get better, and i bought a beginner book (Averbach a Bejlin's one), which, in retrospect, was really nice and complete, but, at the time, was terrible in teaching which aspects of the game are more important. In particular, I failed totally to understand the importance of the middlegame (both in strategy and tactics). I had the false idea that most of my problems were related in not knowing what to do at the beginning of the game, especially against the electroninc board (which, i discovered later, had no real opening programmed in, and made serious mistakes even at move 3). I devoured the chapters about openings and about chess history, i read something about endgames, mostly because of the simplicity of the few-pieces settings, and i skipped most of the chapters about the middlegame (and all the exercises too!).

 

Fast forward some years, i joined a chess club and wanted to start playing competitively from 17 to 19. I played a couple of classical tournaments and some blitz ones, i bought many books and tried to learn (but most of them were about openings, which i was studying in a completely wrong way, even if i don't regret doing it, simply because i found it really enjoyable, even if almost useless to get better at chess). My results were not that great, mainly becasue, even if i recognized it only years later, my tactical weekness. I never did tactic puzzles, i didn't know basic patters, and i was really slow to calculate (i still am, and i don't think this will change ever. I simply stopped playing < 15 minutes games). At the time i was playing in a very aggressive way (i played the king's gambit and main line sicilians with black, for example).

 

I stopped playing chess for 3-4 years due to my university studies. Then, after having found some friends who also enjoyed playing it, i started again, playing online and friendly matches over the board. But i was incosistent, i dreamed of starting again to play in the competitive scene, but i had not the time nor the dedication to do it.

 

And let's get to now. I finally understand that, in the computer era, chess can be simply just a game, played for one's enjoyement, and not necessary a competitive activity only. I surely want to get better at it, i know now, after having read many advices by professional coaches online, which are the areas i should be focusing on, but i will do it slowly, in the few free time i have. I will dedicate more time to online playing, and to follow the international chess scene. Because i also discovered that i really like chess as a sport to follow. I agree that chess can be the new, big, e-sport to make a big success. It is way more enjoyable to follw than most video-games, because of its long history, its sure future, and its deepness.

 

About my playing style, i think that my final goal is to become a positional player, avoiding complications (because i am not that great at tactics, and i don't like too much studying them, but also because i have a scientifically-oriented mind, and, also, i am getting to old to play like i did when i was a teen), looking for outplay my opponents in the endgame. In the meantime, while i am learning (i started with Silman's books, How to reasses your chess 4th ed. and the one on endgames), i've had a lot of fun building an opening repertoire, which both fits in part my final goal for my chess style, but also allows me to play some different kinds of positions, because i'm not so sure that what i think i'll like and i'll be good at will be the right guess and because, playing just for fun, some variety is a nice thing. But more on that in the next blog post, about how i selected, after many thoughts and changes, my repertoire with white!